Most of us would agree that our culture is in a state of decline and needs to be transformed. The question is, how can transformation take place? Being a Christian leader, how do we lead transformation of communities, not just inside the church but outside of it as well? This is what we know–the good news of Jesus Christ is the thing that truly penetrates a society. Through the Spirit of God, transformation can happen from the inside out. The gospel is most effective at the center of human need. It is when one discovers that they need reconstruction of their lives, to find reconciliation, in search of hope, purpose, or an answer, that they are open to the gospel and it is most effective. As God provides the opportunity, it is the Christian leader whose job it is to impact those people with the good news of Jesus Christ in their time of deepest need.

When you get close you get changed.

If you are willing to get close to those in need, transformation can take place. The struggle we often have as church-goers is that we are nice. We go to church, you smile and I smile and that’s about it. The truth is that we as followers of Christ are good at being nice and not so good at meeting the needs in our culture that dominate the lives of people for whom Jesus Christ died.

Being Christian leaders, we cannot ignore the injustices around us any longer. Transformation takes place in unsafe places, in the collision of scarcity and abundance, and it happens both in us and through us. When we are willing to come out of our ignorance and get actively involved in the needs of our world, the power to transform us all becomes good news to all. Are we living this out? Are you living this out? Are we growing and meeting those people whom God has put in our care, to be so involved in the present opportunities in our world that are epic and all around us? Whatever we do, in all that we do, I hope that in the grace of God we will seize the opportunity of today.

For nearly 30 years, Kip Jacob and his wife Pam have led SouthLake Church in suburban Portland Oregon from a church of 35 people to a creative faith community where 2,000 people meet weekly. Along with other SouthLake leaders, Kip has launched a new initiative, BeUnDivided, to inspire and equip pastors and churches to serve public schools around our nation.